• Ariana Ortega

Liza M. Crowns of Beauty

I had the opportunity to work with one of the most influential and amazing people in my daughters life right now, her first grade teacher, Liza Meynig. She is incredible, and I could literally go on and on about how awesome she is lol

A lot of you probably dont know that my daughter goes to a Christian private school. I just met Liza this year when we decided to enroll Tatiana in her class. She has done a great job teaching her and we have become close since we did this shoot together. She had posted that she was looking for a photographer for a special organization that she is a part of called Crowns of Beauty. I did a little interview with her for yall so you could see what it's all about.

What is Crowns of Beauty?

Crowns of Beauty is a developing organization that was birthed out of three women who share similar past stories and passions. We are passionate about shining a light on abuse and human trafficking. As women who came out of abusive situations, we were able to find healing and freedom where there seemed to be no hope. So now our mission is to help women who have come from similar situations. We do this by using social media, the arts (such as modeling, dancing, acting, and music), and by going on the streets to build relationships with women caught in prostitution. We have three branches of Crowns of Beauty. Connect with Her, Celebrate Her, and Set Her Free.

Connect With Her aims to build a strong [digital] community of women who will speak transformational truth and engage in honest conversations, in hopes to inspire and transform. Our hope through this creative and community-driven platform is that women will not only become more connected but also, have opportunities to genuinely champion each other to greatness and wholeness. If you believe you story matters and will empower women today, then we want to hear from you!

Set Her Free seeks to create a place to raise awareness for human trafficking and social injustice through testimonies, interviews, media, etc. Our hope is to build a bridge between different organization as a way to work together, knowing that the only way we can make a difference is to be unified.

Celebrate Her uses social media and the arts to highlight women who have victory stories! We want to hear from women who have been through abuse, or some form of trauma and can be vulnerable enough to share the ups and downs. The failures and the victories. We think it is important to create a safe place for women to speak out, to be heard and to be known. We are also think it is important to create motivation and hope for women still struggling.

Who funded Crowns of Beauty?

As of right now, we are funding ourselves using our personal money. This is a very new project that we have spent a few years praying about and being strategic about how to develop it. A few ways we raise funds for Crowns of Beauty is by making and selling homemade essential oil soaps and jewelry. We are currently in the process of designing more apparel we will launch in 2019.

What is your role on the team?

My role on the Crowns of Beauty team is to be in charge of our Celebrate Her branch. It is my job to find and interview women who are comfortable sharing their story. We use phone and video interviews to post on social media. We also use photo shoots, music, and dancing of real women to make statements about their testimonies.

Tell me about yourself.

I grew up in a Christian home and was raised in church. I was the “good kid”. I started going on mission trips in middle school and was involved in everything our church has to offer. At 17, I started dating someone who volunteered in our youth group. He was several years older than me but not many people questioned the age difference because we both had good reputations. But, after dating for a short time, I was raped. And then threatened to tell anyone. For two in a half years, I was abused in almost every form. I lived in a secret horror no one knew about for a long time. Finally, the abuse could not be hidden anymore and with the help of my parents and a few others, I got out of that relationship.

Once I got out, I was still so broken I continued in unhealthy relationships with men for several more years. Finally, at 23 years old, I got engaged to a man I didn’t love. I was only with him because all of the “good godly men” would hear a piece of my story and run. This man, new part of my story and didn’t seem to mind too much. He was a believer and he went to church. I was with him because I didn’t think girls like me ever deserved to be picky about men. Not only was that mindset unfair to me, but it was extremely unfair to my ex fiancé. Once that engagement ring was on my finger, something happened in me. I had to start dealing with myself if I was going to get married. Finally, I started to face the pain I never thought I could face. I finally began a healing process I didn’t think was available for me.

God started speaking to me about who he actually created me to be and about how much He loved me, even with my past. I finally decided to be fair to myself and my ex fiancé and end the engagement. At the time, that was one of the hardest decisions I had to make, but once I ended everything, it became one of my most freeing moments. That began the official process of seeking help and healing. And now, my heart is to help women who have been stuck in similar situations as myself. I got to rewrite my story and I want to help other women rewrite their story as well.

When I am not working on Crowns of Beauty, I am a first grade teacher at a private school called Academy Eleven32. I also love being outdoors! Fishing, hunting, hiking, biking, and anything out of on the water is what I love most!

How can someone get involved in Crowns of Beauty?

We are looking for women who are willing to share their story. If you want to do a phone interview, fill out a questionnaire to share, do a video interview. Or, if you are willing to do a photoshoot for a statement piece and share part of your story through modeling, drama, or music. We are also looking for people who are gifted in media to record and edit videos, take pictures, and help on the technical side of things.

We are currently in the process of get our 5O1C3. So, we are not yet an official non-profit. We do not have a way to receive tax deductible donations right now. But, if you feel motivated to give, you can message us via our social media (Crowns of Beauty) or via email at:

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